June 10, 2022

In our Associate Spotlight series, we are highlighting associates across the company who are shaping our community and who embody our Life at Centric philosophy every day.

Meet Jerome Kim, Vice President, Business Development at Centric Brands. In his Interview, Jerome speaks to us about community building and how advancing leaders through collaboration drives sustainable change in the workplace.

What is your role at Centric Brands and how long have you been with the company?

I joined earlier this year, and in my role as Vice President of Business Development, I help evaluate strategic opportunities for Centric Brands. Whether it is an acquisition of another business or a divestiture of an asset, my goal is to help understand, analyze and execute on that transaction. Beyond organic growth, these are ways Centric Brands can potentially accelerate our growth model and refocus resources. As a new(er) team member, I’m excited to get up to speed on all things Centric Brands!

What have you enjoyed most about working at Centric Brands?

I’ve enjoyed working with various groups and seeing how the different blocks build up the larger Centric Brands organization. It’s a great feeling to see how teams can work in tandem to put pieces of information together in order to arrive at an outcome that they otherwise alone would not have. Without everyone, crucial information can get left behind.

Can you tell us about a favorite project you worked on?

Hopefully, I will have a laundry list soon, but my first foray was with Daytona Apparel Group (hosiery). Various teams worked together on a tight timeline. It was great to see how instrumental Joe [Favuzza, Chief Strategy Officer] and Marjan [Elbaum, Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel] were in getting alignment on structure to incentivize longer-term success with the Daytona management group.

Why is building community important to you?

There is the cliché – “No man (individual) is an island.” These past couple of years have shown how important it is to have that connectivity, to share, to collaborate. It’s these connections that foster a community. When a safe and welcoming environment can be created that nurtures those interactions, you unlock a step change in ideas and growth.

What does ‘advancing leaders through collaboration’ mean to you?

To stay on topic about “community,” I think the theme of collaboration is an integral component of that. This theme goes beyond an ethnocentric view and recognizes that to succeed today, people need to be able to work with the person across the table. Individuals who emerge as leaders by listening, sharing and learning from the strengths of others become more equipped to navigate today’s environment. JFK said, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and I think the past several years have shown that, despite assistance at the state and federal level, this is not necessarily true. We need individuals who are sympathetic, understanding of others and able to collaborate to better help those people who may not have a safety net; every person can be a leader.